Skip to main content

View Diary: A Socialist in Seattle Won With What Should be the Democratic Party Brand (187 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Socialist: It's the new Democrat (74+ / 0-)

    Democrats have been pretending for years that they're "liberal" or "progressive" or whatever label is au courant in polite society.  But most Democrats, including all those who determine where the party goes, have turned into those country-club Republicans a long time ago.  

    That's the trap of the two-party system.  As long as you're somewhere to the sane side of knuckle-dragging extremists, you can pretend you're on the Left.  The phony linear political spectrum allows Democrats to embrace more and more corporatist, anti-middle class policies, thinking nothing's changed.

    In a two- or three-dimensional political space, we find them inhabiting the same quadrant as their crayzee opponents.  How refreshing that Bernie Sanders and Kshama Shawant have begun to expand the political space beyond that tedious linear thinking Beltway morons are bound to.  

    If it takes a Socialist resurgence to remind Democrats what their New Deal modern roots are, so be it.  If that won't work, then they're shuffling off to the same boneyard the Republicans are.

    We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:56:35 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I hope you are right (25+ / 0-)

      but there is a part of me that thinks that a lot of Democrats will just dismiss this sort of thing as just an outlier than has no greater significance.

      I think there are signs that the Democratic Party has taken its brand for granted for way too long that they don't nearly have the natural credibility and automatic pull they think they have.

      It boggles my mind that, after the GOP essentially was able to claim, insanely, to be the party of defending Medicare from the Democrats for God's sake, that this wasn't a wake up call.

      If the people who want to destroy something are able to successfully present themselves as the defenders and the creators as the threat.... you have a branding problem.

      There is no way that a Tea Party type should be able to portray a Democrat as a threat to Medicare, and themselves as the defender of it. Ever.

      When the arsonist can call themselves the firefighter, and label the firefighter are the arsonist, you have to notice that and do something to make that impossible to ever do again.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:13:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As they say in football: The "prevent defense"... (37+ / 0-)

        ... prevents nothing. Democrats keep moving right, thinking it will insulate them from criticism, when it just makes them obsolete. If people want to vote conservative, they'll elect the real thing, and not some ConservaDem.

        "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by Kombema on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:24:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There it is: (22+ / 0-)
        If the people who want to destroy something are able to successfully present themselves as the defenders and the creators as the threat.... you have a branding problem.
        Exactly.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:31:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Man, DeadHead (26+ / 0-)

          I don't know what it will take.

          I thought what the GOP did with Medicare in 2010 would be a trigger for a lot more establishment soul searching.

          Boy was I wrong. So wrong.

          They could do it again.

          If Chained CPI had been put up for a vote, and passed with GOP support, they would have beat the crap out of the Democrats on it even though they voted for it too.

          Thank God for that idiot who rushed out to say it was an attack on the eldery before the GOP leadership could shut him the fuck up. He gave it away right there.

          They don't want to destroy Social Security, they want the Democrats to agree to destroy it so they can get their outcome and somebody else get the blame.

          The GOP has been so blatant about their bad faith that I am almost morbidly curious as to how bad it has to get before the entire Democratic Party stops thinking they can pander or dodge the bad faith tsunamis that always come.

          Just about every Blue Dog is gone because the Blue Dogs got targeted for their pandering even more after the panders. You can't escape being a Democrat. You have to embrace it. You run, it just tells them to run you down first.

          I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

          by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:38:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If you can't credibly claim to be defenders (32+ / 0-)

        ... of Social Security, then what kind of Democratic party can you claim to have?  A real Democratic party would be fighting to reduce poverty by legislating a living wage; it would be fighting to expand Medicare coverage so seniors wouldn't have to throw themselves into the hands of private insurers; it would be fighting to increase Social Security benefits so senior poverty would be once again on the decline.  A real Democratic party would be going after tax avoiding billionaires and corporations.  A real Democratic party would push a national bill for universal suffrage.

        We don't have a party like that, and we haven't for many decades.  I'm a Democrat because of the New Deal, and that's the precise historical equivalent of an African American Republican in the 1940's who clings to the party because of Lincoln.  There are still good reasons to belong, but the increasingly antique basis of that party identification needs some serious updating before it cannot be maintained with self-respect.

        What reasons do Democrats have to claim the allegiance of young voters today, aside from their perennial slogan of "We Suck Less!"  If they don't come up with more positive sales points soon, they may lose their target audience to other competitors.  And not Republicans, either.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:37:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Living up to the Democratic "brand" (19+ / 0-)

        would mean running with leftist populism, which would mean less power for corporate fat cats and the current party leadership.

        And more power for us. You have the power.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:57:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I suppose if Dems stop making threats to cut (4+ / 0-)

        SS/Medicare that would go a long way to repairing their "branding".

        Then there is the Obamacare debacle. I've tried to be a supporter, and essentially still am. But.... this whole thing just makes it so brutally clear that what we need is a Medicare For All system, as well as a private/free market system. Too bad Obama, and a few others ensured there was no Public Option in the bill.

        Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

        by Lucy2009 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:26:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Democratic socialism would address both of those (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, LeftHandedMan, Lucy2009

          issues.  You can be a socialist and support a tightly regulated capitalist system.  The two aren't mutually exclusive.

          "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy..." -Albert Einstein

          by socindemsclothing on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:01:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all true (0+ / 0-)

            Socialism, by definition, is against private ownership of the means of production, which gives the wealthy few a monopoly over the majority, over the working class, paying them as little as possible, even if it means leaving them in financial ruin, so that the wealthy can live in luxury. Capitalism is based on that exploitation, without which it could not function. Capitalism is based on inequality and exploitation of resources.

            And thus wage slavery still exists in any form of capitalism. The people at the bottom will always be treated like property in capitalism. Classism and all its ugly manifestations will still exist.

            No, you can call yourself a socialist if that makes you sleep better at night, but if you support capitalism you're supporting exploitation.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 09:26:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Check this out: (0+ / 0-)

            Sweden:

            "We see a society that is becoming increasingly divided and where the gaps, both socially and economically, are becoming larger," said Rami Al-khamisi, co-founder of Megafonen, a group that works for social change in the suburbs. "And the people out here are being hit the hardest … we have institutional racism."
            The problem is that in a capitalist system, the control of the economy consistently ends up, over time, in the hands of a few. It is, in practical terms, rather axiomatic that this occurs.

            Only in a worker self-managed society, without private ownership of production, can economic justice remain in the hands of the everyday workers.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 11:48:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with you wholeheartedly! (0+ / 0-)

              It would be a miraculous day, indeed, if nearly every American woke up tomorrow and decided to throw off the chains of capitalism in unison...but, realistically, that's not going to happen.  It may never happen.  So democratic socialism exists to bridge the gap between ideologically pure for-the-good-of-the-people socialism and the horrifically exploitative capitalistic system we've grown attached to.  

              I want to to see your brand of socialism embraced in this country, but, failing that, I want a brand of socialism that will bring much needed restraint to our current system, not to mention much needed redistribution of wealth.  

              Baby steps.

              "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy..." -Albert Einstein

              by socindemsclothing on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 02:37:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't agree (0+ / 0-)
                It may never happen
                Most change comes in times of upheaval. It can happen, but it is a tautology to say it can't happen because it can't happen. Of course it can happen, and most of us will likely be the most surprised when it does.

                But supporting the capitalist state to achieve socialism will never lead to socialism.

                Read the link again, and see the trajectory of Sweden. Capitalism by nature moves toward more and more capitalism. Elite control does not give up power on its own.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:45:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I just don't think Americans are mentally *there* (0+ / 0-)

                  yet, as evidenced by the gross misunderstandings in this very comments section regarding socialism.  Misunderstandings and blithe complacency.  Oh, there's plenty of noise, but very little willingness to participate in the vanguard of political upheaval.  I rarely read Kos anymore because I'm tired of watching my fellow progressives turn over their power, time and time again, to the next dem politico who's savvy enough to make big promises on the tee vee while selling us out to the Kochs, Wall Street & Co. behind closed doors.  The bar keeps getting lowered, people are perfectly happy to accept less and less, as long as it means a democrat is in charge.  

                  I'm not convinced that most liberals even give a damn about the working class and indigent anymore.  Look around you, see how many self-professed liberals are happy to throw millions of people under the bus if it means SS is sacrosanct.

                  I'm glad there are optimists like yourself out there fighting the good fight, believing in the capacity for dramatic change and the potential for humanity's better nature to prevail.  Because all I see when I look around are cowed plutocracy deniers with an overriding self-preservation instinct.  And that's the best of the lot.  Let's not forget the thousands of wealthy and financially comfortable liberals who get to flash their "bleeding heart" cred to the world but would secretly rather die than vote for an ideologically pure socialist.  You can pry capitalism, working fine and dandy for these folks, from their cold, dead, blue fingers.

                  Bah humbug.  

                  "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy..." -Albert Einstein

                  by socindemsclothing on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:22:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  NOW is the time to openly embrace socialist (20+ / 0-)

      ideas. Now now now now now

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:56:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You wrote: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      "But most Democrats, including all those who determine where the party goes, have turned into those country-club Republicans a long time ago. "
      ******
      "most Democrats"  (what  broad paintbrush you wield) Who are these "most" of whom you speak and how do you know them?  Tell me how to find them or are they so obviously EVERYWHERE?

      What precisely is a "country club Democrat" ?

      How can you substantiate your claim? Other than "gut feeling" which is a servant of your world view.

      Facts and figures please, in the unlikely event you have any.

      •  Trying to use a single definer for Dems (0+ / 0-)

        is a waste. No doubt there are odious Dems who are bought and paid for by TPB. But many Dems are just trying to do the right thing and represent their constituency while supporting the party they belong to.

        I saw Ms. Sawant on Rachel this evening and I admire her for the campaign she ran as well as the supporters she has working for her. I doubt she'd win a seat in my state even if she had the money to buy every vote. It isn't just that she ran as a Socialist (that would be enough) but she is just too left for here. Maybe a SLC city council seat, maybe. Probably not.

        We have Dems from every state and thank gawd we don't have purity tests. That means that our Dems come in different flavors.

        I think it's a good thing that Ms. Sawant has entered the political picture, we need people who push us to the left. But, we won't just suddenly get there overnight and if some Dems are to the right of her that doesn't mean that they are without honor.

        And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

        by high uintas on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:38:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Yes indeed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          high uintas

          Years ago, my wife and I attended an event in Seattle which featured John Kerry early in his presidential campaign.

          The crowd was large and diverse.  We assumed most were Democrats. What surprised us was the number of signs which read like left-wing versions of what one might see today at a tea party rally, except the the targets were "rich people", corporations, "Zionists",  real estate agents, bankers,Democratic "apologists"(whatever the fuck that is ) and yes, even "white people".

          We had about as much in common with those sign carriers as we do with the likes of Rafael Cruz, John Boehner, Rush Limbaugh, and Rand Paul.

          It was rather depressing to see, and Kerry's lackluster speech didn't help elevate our moods.  :)

        •  Are you sure whatever state you live in wouldn't (4+ / 0-)

          support most of this?

          Her platform includes a $15 minimum wage, a millionaire's tax, ending corporate welfare, unionizing service workers, stopping the coal trains, GMO labeling, and rent control.
          I suspect she'd win or lose with ideas and not money.
          I doubt she'd win a seat in my state even if she had the money to buy every vote.
          It is the other side, the anti-progressive side, that wins elections by buying votes they can't suppress with restrictions or disenfranchise with apathy.

          The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

          by catilinus on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:18:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm pretty sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catilinus

            Salt Lake City is the most progressive part of the state and they might sign on to it, or some of it. I'm not sure about rent control or unionized service workers. I support it but there is such a small union presence here compared to the anti-union sentiment.

            Rather than rent control IMO the issue would be more about sprawl and the fact that there are few places to rent. To get beyond SLC a candidate has to move much closer to the right and that is just a fact.

            Which brings us to the issue of Jim Matheson. He is so frustrating that you want to pull your hair out, but he manages to get reelected here, even kos thinks it's a miracle.

            So here is my question to you, Mike Lee is really unpopular here. Matheson could challenge him for the Senate and IMO has a good chance of winning. He's well known and liked and would gather votes from all the Ds and some of the Rs. How do you feel about him winning? A bluest of blue dogs in the Senate or Mike Lee?

            And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

            by high uintas on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 11:38:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The Democratic Party is turning people (17+ / 0-)

      into Socialists. That's bad news for Democrats but good news for the people. The sooner they see past the bullshit kabuki that the two corporate halves of the duopoly engage in, the better.

      "Americans have a strong devotion to afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable. They have a hard time contemplating any meaningful overhaul of the rules of their political system" -- Alec Baldwin

      by Sagebrush Bob on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:53:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site